Instructional Coaching and Technology Help Transform Rural Schools in Colorado

A bridge builder of the equity gap of rural and under-resourced schools, TeachUNITED believes firmly in the power of dedicated teachers to help transform the outcomes of rural schools, which serve over 20 percent of the nation’s youth yet often face challenges in finding and retaining teachers. At the root of this shortage are factors like geographic isolation, low salaries, lower enrollment leading to less per-pupil funding, and fewer professional development opportunities.

Working in partnership with schools like Platte Valley Middle School in Kersey, CO, TeachUNITED aims to improve teacher motivation, readiness and effectiveness, limiting teacher turnover and improving student educational outcomes and engagement. The All Points North Foundation grant will reach up to 10 middle grade teachers and 300 students from three schools in rural Northeastern and Southwestern Colorado where student engagement can be common challenges.

Collaborating with Centennial and San Juan BOCES, TeachUNITED identifies schools with a committed leader and passionate educators who serve as lead teachers/mentors and school change agents. Educators take part in the TeachUNITED training program to implement best practices in blended learning, math and literacy instruction, 21st century skills, and student engagement. When needed, schools are also offered tablet technology, a rolling case of 20 tablets. And when internet connectivity is a challenge, schools receive a micro-server that stores content including learning apps like Khan Academy, Wikipedia, and PHET Science Simulation.

The one-year intensive program ensures that partner schools in rural and under-resourced regions of Colorado receive support from teacher Coaches, a proven professional development curriculum, access to a peer network, and, when needed, a mobile tablet lab that helps to transform teaching and learning through personalized learning plans to maximize student academic growth. TeachUNITED points out that learning becomes purposeful, students become engaged, and classrooms become energized. The results speak volumes: an increase in assessment scores, engagement, and 21st-century skills.

For more information: www.teachunited.org

Photo credit: TeachUNITED

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All Points North Foundation provides grants for U.S.-based projects and initiatives that support our priorities: improving public middle school education and teacher training, and implementing effective solar programs and/or projects.

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